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Ethics panel warns lawmakers against product endorsements

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AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House Ethics Committee is warning members of Congress not to advertise or endorse products in which they have a financial interest. It says "under no circumstances" should a lawmaker be "personally selling or endorsing" such products.

The guidance comes at the end of an investigation into Rep. Markwayne Mullin, a Republican from Oklahoma. He was the face of Mullin Plumbing in TV commercials and on a home-repair radio show and sought guidance from the committee after his 2012 election.

The committee had encouraged Mullin to transfer part of the plumbing company to his wife, to avoid a conflict on government contracts, adding he could continue the promotions if he doesn't reference Congress. On Friday it cleared him of wrongdoing, pending back payment of $40,000 he received after the transfer.

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